Wednesday, 21 November 2012

It's That Time of Year Again!


And with that comes all sorts of goodies but, I have to say one of my favourite things is the cards.

I just love getting real mail and getting updates on family and friends and seeing cute pictures of little kids in our lives! I also love the glitter that is almost mandatory on all Christmas cards. Just a note...I may just throw in an extra handful with ours this year because after all:


                                                          Source: via Caroline on Pinterest

(Please just ignore that nasty work in the link:P)


Tonight I was ordering our Christmas cards and got a little notice at the end that I would receive $10 off my next order if I shared with you lovely folks that read my blog. (Hubs, that means you! Yay for saving money, right?) I would say that I love saving money as much as glitter but, well, I just don't. But it is a nice little perk!

Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

I have to say I just love how it turned out! Check out Shutterfly for yourself!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Having Fun!

Do you ever get so concerned with the little day to day things that you forget the big picture of life?

I know I do.

I am at a point right now where I feel so overwhelmed with all these little things that I cannot bring myself to just be happy and carefree and fun with my family.

By little things I mean keeping a clean house (clean enough so that it isn't a mad scramble when we have a possible house showing), disciplining and raising my kids to be smart, respectful, God-fearing adults, being a good and attentive wife, maintaining friendships. You know, the little things that really are big things. Each and every one of the points I just listed are so incredibly important but I have let myself become so consumed with them that I can't just let them go and have fun. Add these in with financial and life events and I am in a constant state of worry and stress.

Instead of focusing on these things as a whole, I am going to try changing my thinking of them to just a little part of my day. Discipline and teaching will never be put aside. Having three kids ages 2, 4, and 6 that is just not my reality right now. Instead I am going to look at it as just a small hiccup and then move on. Too many times I have allowed things to just put a damper on my day (I'm a complainer remember? Still working on that one.) I am going to practice grace in this home. Mistakes are going to happen. But just as my God forgives me and disciplines me and teaches me, I will do the same for those around me, especially those nearest and dearest to my heart.

This is going to be tough. I asked my husband tonight to tell me what my actions spoke about me. After a moment of hesitation he replied "impatient and short-tempered" (with a slight look of "is this a trick question?"). I was convicted today about my actions when reading Titus 1:16, "They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him." I think I already knew this but I needed the confirmation from the one that knows me best here on earth.

I have been on a mission this year to simplify life. I think this is what this year has been boiling down to: focusing on what really matters the most. Casting my cares onto the Lord and actually having fun with my family. At this point I could get rid of all I owned and my house could stay clean for days but if I don't stop to enjoy life at this point in time, I am going to miss out. I have been missing out. Here is my resolution: (taken from the book, "The Resolution for Women, by Priscilla Shirer")

I do solemnly resolve to embrace my current season of life and will maximize my time in it. I will resist the urge to hurry through or circumvent any portion of my journey but will live with a spirit of contentment.

Here's to soaking up every moment and making happy memories!

God bless you today!

Linking up with Women Living Well Wednesdays. Don't forget to check out the button on the sidebar and do a little blog-hopping today!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Letting Go

"So then, any of you who does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple." -Luke 14:33

What am I holding on to that I need to let go of?

-Food/eating habits
-Material possessions
-Old habits (just the way I live life in general)

I need a change. A big change. A radical change. But how? How do I even begin to change 27 year old habits?

One at a time. Baby steps. I need to turn my life upside down and shake off all the dust that has dimmed the light inside of me.

This means no more sleeping as late as I can in the morning, but rising before the dawn to feast on the Lord before everyone else is up.

This means no more laziness and disciplining my body daily with exercise.

This means no more eating without a though but eating consciously. Being truly thankful and mindful before each bite. This also means eating more healthily.

This means no more holding onto things for that 'one day' or just in case but truly decluttering and blessing others and putting all my faith in God that He will provide and care for us. This also means letting go of the poverty mindset I have so embraced over the years.

This means no more filling the hours at the end of the day and throughout the day with TV and internet and books but filling those times with real purpose - focusing on housework, the kids, my husband, and most importantly the Lord. How will I ever know His calling on my life if I don't take the time to tune in?

Baby steps though, right?

First and foremost is my time in the morning. I believe this is a crucial aspect to my day. I desperately want more of Him and I am not going to get it unless I seek Him out.

Please pray for me if you happen to think of it. :) Be blessed today, friends!

**I typo'd that title and put Letting God instead. I think that is pretty fitting for what I just wrote about. I need to both let go and let God. If I just let go then who or what will take it's place? I must let God fill the void or I will be no better off than when I first began.

"And it goes and brings other spirits, seven [of them], more evil than itself, and they enter in, settle down, and dwell there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first." -Luke 11:26 (AMP)

Saturday, 24 March 2012

I don't know

There is something that is just so satisfying about just not knowing sometimes.

This thought came as a shock to me today because I am the queen of NEEDING TO KNOW!! I like to be in control. I like to plan out my day. I make lists of lists to make. Seriously. (I also add things to a list that weren't previously on it but have since completed during my day just to make myself feel like I have accomplished more. That's a whole 'nother issue...). I have a love/hate relationship with texting. (Love it cause people can be tracked down and therefore I get to know what they are doing. Hate it because of said reason and also when I don't get a prompt answer.) I could go on but I'm pretty sure you probably catch my drift! (Can you say lighten up much?!)

It probably doesn't surprise you to hear that I'm also not very patient. So when I get an idea, I just want to go with it. Correction: I NEED to go with it.

God has been revealing Himself to me so much in this last year. You know that verse, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you"? So true! As I've drawn nearer to the Lord, He has revealed Himself to me in ways that I was not expecting. And that I still don't expect. I don't know about you but I have had a very narrow view of who God is and how He is supposed to act. I think He is probably purposely acting out of those ways just so my mind can be driven crazy STRETCHED!

I have had so many ideas and things I have been wanting to do for some time now. (And they are good, God ideas! Nothing wrong with them at all!) Most of them I have just gone ahead with without really seeking the Lord's direction. And they have all flopped. I ended up with nothing but frustration.

But there have been a few that I have done nothing about yet. Except pray. Probably due to fear that it would fail. But now I pray because I know that the answer isn't necessarily "No, it won't work", but "No, it's not time yet". This is what I mean about not knowing. I don't have to live my days in frustration that I can't do anything. God is shaping me to carry out His will here on earth and right now that just means "It's not time yet". The satisfaction comes from knowing that He is guiding me. Day by day. Step by step. Moment by moment. If I will just lay down my need to control and instead give it to Him to guide me, He will be faithful. God knows the desires of my heart. Today I am trusting Him with those desires. And I am thankful that He loves me and cares and wants to fulfill those desires in accordance with His good purposes for my life.

I hope this little thought acts as a bit of encouragement for those of you that are just waiting for an answer. Don't give up. Keep drawing nearer to God. Your answer will come.

Be blessed today!


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Feeling a little Green

I have been trying to adopt a cleaner lifestyle for myself and my family over the last several months. The Lord has really impressed upon me about how our bodies are His temple. This has led me in a variety of directions including weight loss and healthy eating and living. Let me tell is not as easy as I hoped it would be!

There are so many things that I am realizing we need to rethink and retrain ourselves in. It's really not as simple as just buying organic foods! (For those of you that have been living clean and green for some time - please humor me as I learn! Tips are also more than welcome!) The more I read and the more knowledge I gain, the more I realize just how many toxins we put into our bodies (both on purpose and inadvertantly). And some of the articles I have read are downright terrifying!

It is also overwhelming. Where do I even begin?

Part of me wants to abandon life as we know it, move out into the bush somewhere and live like the Wilder's on Little House on the Prairie. You know where Hubs (aka Pa) goes out and hunts for all our meals and builds everything from scratch, I (aka Ma) bake and sew and churn butter in the kitchen by the woodstove, and the kids all help out with everything and only have one toy to play with. And those toys are a ragdoll for the girl and a genuine pigskin football for the boys (no bpa/lead/toxic worries there, right?!).

And then the other part of me just loves the tv and internet and the pure convenience of everyday modern life. (Hello flushing toilets and running water!)

So I have kind of gone back and forth in my quest for green-clean because I just don't know where to begin. And you know what? I just don't know if it is truly possible to completely "convert" overnight.

So here is what I am going to do: I am going to commit to just one change a month. For now anyways. Once I get the hang of things and start remembering all this newfound knowledge I have then I will ramp that up a bit but this is where I'm at now.

So far already I have pretty well cut out all foods that I cannot pronounce (except for a few cans of Alphagetti's...lunch tomorrow!). I will continue on with this as I spring clean the fridge and pantry.

My next challenge is getting rid of the toxic cosmetic/beauty products that we use on a daily basis. This is a big one for me and will take a bit of time because of our location and the inability to replace some of these items with natural products. But stay tuned for how it's going and some recipes that I've spotted that I really want to try out.

I'm scared/excited right now!

Thanks for reading :)
(And please excuse the hurriedness of this writing...I'm sure it shows! It's the end of the day and I can hear the kiddo's out of bed and into mischief...)

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Set Your Mind

I just got back from the gym. And let me just say, the class I took today TOTALLY kicked my butt!

And I kind of liked it! (Kind of because I could hardly walk down the stairs to leave the gym after but liked it because it really was a great workout!)

Anyways, this all ties into this week's No Complaining post. I'll rewind.

My dear, sweet husband offered for me to take 4 days (by myself!!) to head to the "big city" just to unwind, regroup, and simply just be by myself. I was hesitant at first because first of all we just got back from Mexico two weeks ago! Did I really need another "vacation"? I told myself yes, yes I did because Mexico wasn't really a vacation for me since we were all in the same room for an entire two weeks. There was no hiding or quiet times. Just togetherness. Now I love my family but EVERYBODY needs some time by themselves!

Second of all, this is our No Spend Year! Which means we do not have an extra jar for "Leah's Mental Health/Sanity/Vacation"! But he assured me that it was fine. So why question, right?

Lastly, (sigh) the offer came after a near meltdown from me that I just couldn't handle life at that moment. Yes, folks, I complained. HOWEVER!!! I immediately found a quiet space by myself and poured my heart out to God. I asked forgiveness for complaining so quickly and asked for Him to renew me and refresh me and guide me. And you know what? He totally did! (Why am I always amazed at answered prayer?) I felt better and rejoined life. It was later after all that that hubster offered the little vacay for me. He is truly a wonderful man. :)

So I've been living it up the last four days here in the city. I have gone shopping (just a little fyi for those of you still using film in cameras - STOP!! The prices have gone up ridiculously high - $40 for 3 disposable cameras!!), I have watched TV, I have read books, I took a day to fast and pray, I've gone to anti-gravity yoga (you know those people that do acrobatics on those long cloths? Yeah, kind of like that...except a little less intense) and, like I started out with, I ended with the butt-kicking aerobics class today. It has been a fantastic week so really not much to complain about or even think about complaining!

Here is my challenge this week:

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." Colossians 3:2

This week I am not just going to avoid thinking negative, whiny, complain-y things. I am going to actually dwell on the things above. Things like Jesus and what He did for me on the cross. I am going to search out specific verses and meditate on them. (I am really good at reading the bible. I am not so good on the thinking on what I just read.) I am going to transform my mind.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2

Let me know if you'd like to join me in this challenge and I will post daily scriptures that we can meditate on and share our thoughts.

I am going to pack up and get ready to head home right away. And I am so ready to go!

If I can walk out of here.

(This post seriously took me about half an hour to type my arms are so sore! Ha ha!)

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Quit Complaining!

Well I am officially about 3 weeks into this no complaining challenge. And it is not really going so well.

I think I am improving with not vocalizing my thoughts so much but right now I am faced with just that - my thoughts.

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." -2 Corinthians 10:5

Do you think Jesus whined and complained about His tasks here on earth?

"God, really, I am so tired of walking everywhere."

"Why don't these people get it? They just don't understand."

"But I don't want to wash their smelly, dirty feet."

"But I don't want to die."

"Is it really even worth it?"

We probably would not be where we are if Jesus had spent, no, wasted His time complaining like that.

I may not be vocalizing my dissatisfaction as much as before but my thoughts are definitely making themselves known. For hours, sometimes ruining entire days.

Example time!

We just got back from an incredible (almost free!) trip to Mexico and for those of you with kids you probably understand what this week looks like for us. Basically it involves retraining your children to the way the were before they spent two weeks routine-free at a hotel with a buffet! (They just don't seem to understand why they have to eat what I make them to eat!) We also all slept in one room while there. So, again, why can't we all just sleep in one room at home? (That sentence was dripping with sarcasm.)

Needless to say this week has been a sleep deprived, long one. And my thoughts have ranged from "Grr! Why don't they just get it?!" to "I just need some time by myself. I never get any time by myself."

I am thankful for my children again this week. Thankful that they give me the opportunity to grow as a mother and as a person. I don't think there is any other position I could be in that could allow such trying times and such growth at the same time. (I am sure there are. But I definitely cannot think of any right now!) God is using them to shape me into the person He wants me to be. For that, I am thankful.

I am thankful that I am not alone. There are so many people in this world that have nobody day in and day out. And yes while quiet times alone are good and I would say necessary for growth (and sanity...), being alone all the time is definitely not good.

I am writing this post very quickly and in between (surprise, surprise) more discipline! So please forgive the hurriedness and probably many grammatical errors :)

I hope you have a happy Friday and weekend everybody! We are on Spring Break next week here. Should be interesting!

Ha ha! Kidding! I am very much looking forward to a relaxed week at home.

Have a fantastic weekend!